Safety Matters!

Vietnam is one of the safest countries in Asia, and probably in the world. It has a stable government, the level of civil unrest is insignificant, crime levels are very low in comparison with most countries, and natural disasters affecting visitors are rare.

In the streets
Vietnamese traffic drives on the right (mostly!) and has a somewhat cavalier regard for road safety. Pedestrian crossings, where they exist, are almost invariably ignored, so visitors need to exercise care. The best technique is to wait for a lull in the traffic, then walk steadily and purposefully across the road – oncoming bicycles and vehicles will move to one side to avoid a pedestrian. Hopping about trying to avoid the traffic makes an accident more likely.

Pavements are problematic, too. Most are used for motorbike parking, or trading, and they are often in a poor state of repair, so it’s easier to walk in the road. It isn't as dangerous as is sounds because the Vietnamese are used to avoiding pedestrians, but you need to keep an eye on the traffic.

Crime
In the cities, and especially in Ho Chi Minh City, petty crime can sometimes be a problem. To avoid unpleasant experiences, don't:

  • leave personal belongings unattended - put them somewhere safe or keep them with you
  • carry a shoulder strap handbag or camera bag – a bag with a handgrip will deter motorbike bag snatchers
  • carry large amounts of cash or vital documents – nearly all hotels have secure storage
  • count money while standing at an ATM - put it in a safe place immediately and check it elsewhere

Most crime in Vietnam is low-level and opportunistic, and is uncommon in comparison with major cities elsewhere.

Travelling safely
There is no restriction on movement apart from more remote areas where permits are required. However, the police monitor all hotel registrations: both Vietnamese and visitors from abroad must hand in their passports or identity cards at hotels. This is standard procedure - they will always be returned safely upon checkout on the next morning or after a day or two during a longer stay.

Most large hotels have safe deposit boxes, and smaller ones will look after valuables for you. Even budget hotels are guarded at night, so hotel thefts are rare.

If you travel with Haivenu, you'll be driven in a high-quality vehicle by an experienced driver with an unblemished safety record. The places you visit will be safe and managed properly. For example, we only use officially licensed boats on Ha Long Bay, and always moor in a secure area for overnight stays.

Of course, accidents can occur at any time. All Haivenu guides are experienced and chosen not only for their local knowledge, but also for their sense of responsibility and ability to act decisively. They can be relied upon to take prompt, effective action when a situation merits it. The safety of guests is always top priority.

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Children travelling in Vietnam
Etiquette
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Gifts and gratuities
Health matters
How to be popular
Prices in Vietnam
Safety matters
The local currency
What to take home
What to take with you
Weather
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About Vietnam
Responsible Travel with Haivenu
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